Barrier Function and Natural Moisturizing Factor Levels After Cumulative Exposure to Short-chain Aliphatic Alcohols and Detergents: Results of Occlusion-modified Tandem Repeated Irritation Test
Irena Angelova-Fischer, Tasja Stilla, Sanja Kezic, Tobias W. Fischer, Detlef Zillikens
Alcohol-based disinfectants and detergents are common workplace factors for irritant contact dermatitis (ICD). Though occlusion and water are relevant co-exposures, the tandem effects of occlusion and sequential exposure to alcohols and detergents have not been studied. We therefore investigated the combined effects of occlusion with water and repeated exposure to n-propanol and/or sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) in an occlusion-modified tandem irritation test. The outcomes included visual scoring, measurement of erythema, transepidermal water loss, capacitance and natural moisturizing factor (NMF) levels. Occlusion abrogated the skin barrier function and significantly enhanced the irritant-induced barrier damaging effects. The NMF levels of all irritant-exposed fields decreased significantly compared with the non-exposed fields; occlusion enhanced the decrease in NMF. Although SLS exerted more pronounced effects on the measured parameters, the barrier function impairment and NMF decrease after exposure to n-propanol in workplace-relevant concentrations, found in the study, confirm the significance of short-chain aliphatic alcohols for occupational ICD.